Wiktor Malinowski may be better known for his high stakes cash game prowess, but he showed the poker community he can get the job done in the tournament arena, too. Malinowski came out on top in the latest GGPoker Super MILLION$ and padded his already substantial bankroll with almost $400,000.
A relatively cagey start saw no eliminations in the first hour of play. The bust out draught ended with “judd trump” heading to the showers in ninth-place. The Chinese grinder open-shoved from the small blind for 12 big blinds with ace-queen, and Malinowski looked him up with pocket fives. The board ran king-high, busting judd trump.
Luke Reeves was the next out of the door. The two-time former Super MILLION$ champion was down to less than three big blinds when he crashed out. Reeves pushed all-in with king-jack on the button, Yuri Dzivielevski re-shoved with ace-king to isolate Reeves. A jack on the flop gave Reeves some hope, but an ace on the turn resigned Reeves to an eighth place finish.
Seventh place and the last five-figure prize of the evening went to Brazilian star Dzivielevski. The Brazilian lost all but one small blind when his straight ran into the disguised full house of David Peters. That micro stack went into the middle with king-ten, but Ami Barer snapped the bet off with ace-queen. A king on the flop for Dzivielevski was countered by an ace on the river for Barer.
Peters was the third-largest stack going into six-handed play, but he was still the next player heading to the showers. Peters bust when Malinowski opened to 264,000 at the 60,000/120,000/15,000a level and he three-bet all-in for 3,090,569. Malinowski called and turned over ace-king, which was flipping against Peters; pocket tens. An ace on the turn saw Peters exit in sixth, a finish good for $123,370, and Malinowski soar to more than 7.6 million chips, more than twice the chips as any of his opponents.
Ami Barer lost a coinflip with jack-ten versus the pocket sixes of Aleks Ponakovs in a battle of the blinds before Ponakovs fell by the wayside in third when his queens fell foul to the suited ace-jack of Malinowski courtesy of an ace on the turn once again.
Dario Sammartino went into the heads-up battle trailing Malinowski 3,868,276 to 14,531,724 chips. He was not in any mood for giving up, however, and fought valiantly to the death.
It took more than an hour of one-on-one play for the champion to be decided. In the end, it came down to a relative cooler of a hand. Blinds were 150,000/300,000/35,000a, and Malinowski moved all-in with what turned out to be ace-queen. Sammartino called off his 3,679,184 stack with ace-eight of clubs, and the five community cards gifted Malinowski a straight, resigning Sammartino to a $312,889 runner-up prize. Malinowski was crowned the latest Super MILLION$ champion, an accolade that came with $394,852.